|First Division - Day 30|
Espanyol 2 - Athletic Bilbao 1
Domoraud, Lopo, Pochettino, Vignal (David García 74'); Fredson, Wome;
Maxi (Velamazán 85'), De la Peña, Hadji (Jordi Cruyff 60');
Team changes: Espanyol: Vignal, Maxi for David García, Morales / Athletic: Orbaiz for Tiko.
Espanyol kept alive their hopes of survival with a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao, who could be out of the UEFA spots after Sunday's games as a result. Luis Fernández's side took the lead as early as the second minute when Tamudo caught Aranzubia off guard with a shot from the left wing, and they could have added to their lead before the break had the keeper not made up for his mistake with a couple of first class saves from the team captain. Athletic did have a couple of chances themselves though, Lemmens doing well to stop efforts from Etxeberría and Yeste.
The home side had the better of the early minutes in the second half, Aranzubia almost turning a long drive from substitute Jordi Cruyff into his own net and then blocking a fierce effort from Fredson, Tamudo unable to force home the rebound. The game swung in favour of the locals though when referee González Vázquez sent off visiting defender Lacruz with a dubious second booking after he appeared to accidentally run into Tamudo, and then left them with nine men after showing a straight red card to Luis Prieto, who pulled back Maxi in the penalty area as he advanced on goal.
Tamudo converted the resulting penalty and the Catalans could have scored three more in the next few minutes, Velamazán shooting just wide and Aranzubia keeping out efforts from Tamudo and Jordi Cruyff. But in the fourth minute of injury time Pochettino deflected a wayward shot from Ezquerro over the head of Lemmens to set up a nerve wracking end to the match, especially when Ezquerro had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee after he was held back by Fredson. In the end though a vital three points for Espanyol' who are now only two points away from Mallorca pending their game at Murcia on Sunday.